Meet our student

Anthony Lay

Course of study:
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies)

“I went to the Australian-China Student Forum in Chongqing, one of China’s largest cities”

I chose to study Law/Arts at La Trobe because it offered the subjects that I have a genuine interest in. I’ve always wanted to study Law yet undertaking a double Law/Arts degree has allowed me to expand my knowledge in languages, Asian Studies and politics. Asian Studies is a very broad genre, however with the ability to choose elective I have been able to study an area I find passion in: politics and relations in the region and China. The politics electives I have taken tied in really well with my Asian studies major and has spurred my passion. This has allowed me to tailor by degree, as I have always been fascinated with the politics of the region and it was a welcome break from the law subjects that I do. Also La Trobe has offered programs such as the Australia-China Student Forum, which allowed me to study in China and experience the culture, society and politics of that country.

The Australian-China Student Forum is one of the most exciting things I have done at La Trobe University. Back in 2014 I saw an advertisement pinned onto a notice board about a study tour to China and I immediately applied. We had to undertake an intensive Chinese language course at the Confucius Institute in the weeks before our departure. My team was sent to Chongqing – one of China’s largest cities located in the south-west of the country. We were required to work with students from Chongqing and develop a presentation on various themes and topics. We had an amazing time immersing ourselves within the local culture, food and sharing ideas with our Chinese colleagues. Even though I’m Chinese-Australian my time in Chongqing involved a large amount of culture shock and shattering of stereotypes I had about China. It was an eye opening experience and one that I will never forget.

One of the great things about La Trobe is the amount of leadership opportunities there are on campus. I have been involved in both the Australian China Youth Association (ACYA) and the Confucius Institute, which has added greatly to my time at university. In semester two of 2014 I decided to put my hand up to become the Vice President of the ACYA. Though a short term at the helm it did allow me to get involved in a wonderful club and broaden my cross-cultural communication skills. My involvement with the Confucius Institute began with my language classes in the lead up to the ACSF. I spent one semester improving my Chinese language proficiency something that has served me well in building an understanding of my own cultural background and in my work as a student representative this year.

I came into university with a very idealistic outlook on politics and international relations. My studies have shown me the world is such a complex place that idealism and lack of pragmatism has no place is politics and life in general. I would still say I’m very optimistic about politics however there is more cynicism and pragmatism in my political views and morals. I hope my degree will take me into a career in government and policy formulation relating to foreign affairs or the law. However I would be happy in any job that allows me to part of shaping policy that affects government.

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